Thursday, October 9, 2014

Retro Fabulous Chicken Divan

If you live long enough, you learn that nothing goes out of style.  No food, no fashion, no philosophy -- no matter how fabulous, funky or even ill-advised -- ever goes away for good.

To paraphrase Heidi Klum, "One day you're in, the next day you're out," and twenty years later you're in again!

So today I'm sharing a recipe that was all the rage in the early 80's and is still relevant today.  It's tasty, economical, healthy and easy to make, often using leftovers.  Guys like it, kids like it... Well, I guess I've sold it enough.  Let's see how it's made.

Personally, I like to start at the end:  a crispy, buttery, seasoned bread crumb mixture that tops the assembled casserole.

Roughly tear about three slices of good bread into small pieces.  Melt a couple of pats of butter in a hot skillet.  Add the bread crumbs and whatever seasoning you like.  (Try his homemade ranch seasoning if you wish.)  Toss it all together in the skillet until it is blended and crispy.  Set aside.

Next chop up about 2 cups of cooked chicken -- if you have leftovers, this is a good way to use them.

Blanch or lightly steam 2 or 3 stalks of broccoli, enough to make 2 cups chopped.

You'll want the broccoli to be softened, but not fully cooked.  It should be bright green and still somewhat crispy.

Whip up some sauce.  Start with 1 can of cream of chicken soup.  (Or if you like, try my recipe for Homestead Company Chicken and use leftover sauce in place of the canned soup.)  Add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.  (If you've never tried making your own homemade mayo, it's easy.  Check out my recipe here. )  Blend in a heaping tablespoon of curry powder and fresh-squeezed juice from half a lemon.

Butter a 2 quart or larger casserole dish, and assemble ingredients as follows:
  • Layer in the broccoli first, and cover with the cooked chicken chunks.
  • Spread the sauce over all.
  • Top with grated cheddar cheese.
  • Finish with the crumb topping.

Cover with foil, and bake in a preheated 350F oven until hot and bubbly -- since most of the ingredients are pre-cooked, it shouldn't take long.  About 30 minutes.  

And there you have it.  This makes a delicious, healthy dinner for 2 to 4 people.  If only 2, you're in luck, because this dish is one of those that tastes even better warmed up the next day.

If you're really smart, you'll double or triple all the quantities and make lots.  Trust me -- it won't go to waste.


  1. I love retro dishes and this one looks awesome! My kids would love it. :) Pinned!

  2. Sometimes the best dishes are the ones that have been around for a while. They've been tested and tried. Thanks for linking up to Show Me Saturday. Hope to see you there again this week!

  3. This looks amazing! Made my mouth water! :) I've pinned it!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week

  4. My mom always made Chicken Divan, and it is still one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!


  5. I'm not sure if I've ever made Chicken Divan before. I know I've seen it around, but I don't think I've ever cooked it! Looks like I need to add it to my list!

  6. Never heard of this dish before but it looks great. Love the addition of vegetables. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

  7. Great Chicken Divan recipe, thanks for sharing this on my last Fabulous Friday Party! Hope to see another fabulous recipe this coming Friday. Thanks Maria

  8. Oooh, this looks so good. Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." Hope you can join us again this week.